Review of “From Third World to First” by Lee Kuan Yew

Foseti

Lee Kuan Yew was arguably the best statesman of the 20th Century. Lee’s claim to the title of best statesman of the 20th Century rests on his transformation of Singapore from a third world country into one of the world’s richest and most civilized countries and into a new type of political entity. But this obvious transformation in some ways masks his two larger contributions to statesmanship.

Everybody loves multiculturalism, but the dirty little secret of the multicultural society is that no one has any idea how to govern one. Lee’s Singapore is the first attempt to create a system of governance that seriously attempts to deal with the problems associated with a multi-racial/ethnic/religious society (hint: the answer is not more democracy). Lee’s solution is particularly interesting, since Singapore was a British colony and thus has the same basic legal foundations of other common law countries. To manage life in…

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